When you go to the movies, odds are you want to watch the film of your choice under the best possible conditions. Disney wants that experience for you as well, but some smaller movie theaters may not be able to meet the demands Disney is making for the upcoming release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
As Disney is sometimes known to do, the company is hoping to make some big money with their next chapter in the continued Star Wars saga. The Last Jedi will be the third Star Wars film released by Disney and the second episode in the current main story in the Star Wars universe. With the release, Disney is hoping all participating theaters will accept the list of demands being made for the right to show the movie in their theaters. The most notable demand is the cut on profits Disney expects to receive.
According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Disney is demanding 65% of the ticket revenue received by theaters, which is clearly higher than the fairly typical 55%-60% studios receive from the ticket sales. In addition, Disney is going to ask for an extra 5% from theaters if those theaters cannot meet their demands in full. Those demands include a commitment to reserve Star Wars for the largest screen in each theater for a minimum of four weeks. That time frame essentially could potentially block theaters from setting aside a large screen for the release of a Jumanji or Pitch Perfect 3 the following week, but that may not be a major concern. The four-week timeframe Disney is asking for will not see much competition in the blockbuster category.
While these demands may not affect your local Regal or AMC or other large national theater chain, it is the independent theaters that could suffer. Some are already making the decision not to give in to the strict demands from the House of Mouse. Per the WSJ, some theater owners are saying the latest demands form Disney are “the most onerous they have ever seen.” Of course, when you are Disney, you can call the shots with a film like this.
Disney is going to make some big money on the latest Star Wars film with or without the independent theaters of smaller size. In the end, it will be those independent theaters that ultimately lose out because of the greed of Disney. Some smaller theaters may now even consider Disney to be The Empire, but this may not end up with a rebellion for the ages.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is scheduled to be released in theaters on December 15, 2017.